The easiest way to sell a house fast is to pass the “Q-Tip® Clean” test!
Beat the Competition
Lots of people are trying to sell their houses in your area right now. Some of them might even live in your neighborhood. One of the sure-fire ways for you to get a leg up on your competition is one of the easiest: Make sure your house is CLEANER than theirs!
This might be hard to believe, perhaps, but it’s true! It still surprises me how many people will list their homes for sale without thoroughly cleaning the inside and outside of their properties. Maybe it’s that everyone’s definition of “clean” is different, but I like to say that describing a “clean” house is like describing love: You may not be able to explain it, but you know it when you’re in it!
What is “Q-Tip® Clean?”
So, what’s MY definition of clean, and what do picky prospective buyers expect? The best description I’ve ever heard is from Barb Schwartz, who started the home staging industry in 1972. She calls it “Q-Tip® Clean.” She’s referring to a buyer’s ability to run a Q-Tip® across any surface in your house-– no matter how small the surface—and have the Q-Tip® still be white and clean. That includes baseboards, the tops of kitchen cabinets, the base of your bathroom toilets, wall light switch plates, doorknobs, and more. (The exceptions would be unfinished basements and attics, the garage, and the exterior of your house.)
But before you panic about having to deep clean to that extent, I have some tips for cleaning so that you sell your house fast:
- Don’t even attempt to clean before you’ve decluttered and organized the rooms in your house.
- Take it room by room! Make a plan and a schedule now to clean one room at a time…maybe one room a day, or a week, depending on the lead time you have before listing your home for sale.
- Don’t forget that how clean a house smells is just as important as how clean it looks. Pet smells, cooking smells, mothball and other product smells will all tell prospective buyers how attentive you’ve been to keeping your house clean and well maintained while you’ve lived there. So many homeowners aren’t able to detect a smell in their own house, so ask a friend to give your home the sniff test and give you honest feedback.
- Garages, basements, crawl spaces and attics may not need to be as clean as the living spaces, but they have to be organized.
- Things that create smells are good places to pay extra attention to. That includes your refrigerator, your oven and microwave, your food pantry, litter boxes and dog beds, and your bathrooms. It’s amazing how much fresher a house smells when these problem areas are cleaned and maintained during the time the house is on the market!
I excel in helping clients decide what should stay and what should be packed away before listing your house for sale. I’m also eager to offer more tips to you on how to ready your property for sale.
Contact me today for a free in-home visit. I look forward to helping you sell your house quickly and for top dollar!